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by Mike Zazaian October 18, 2006 - 10:41am, No Comments

Microsoft's Xbox 360 HD-DVD add-on drive

European representatives of Microsoft’s gaming division have confirmed that the Xbox 360 HD-DVD add-on drive can be connected to and used on a standard PC.

The announcement was made today in the German IT publication Golem.de. According to the article, written in German, the HD-DVD add-on for Xbox 360 consoles will be able to connect directly to a PC via its USB 2.0 connection. PC functionality will be limited out of the box, however, as Microsoft has declined to include HD-DVD drivers for use on PCs. As such, the drives will only facilitate plain ‘ol DVD playback for the time being. As the add-on drives are manufactured by Toshiba, however, it wouldn’t be unfathomable if some third-party source were to release HD-DVD drivers for the device shortly after it hits shelves next month.

If you’re asking why Microsoft chose to limit HD-DVD playback on the driver, consider the fact that Microsoft and Toshiba are pretty much the two biggest reasons why HD-DVD might stick around. While allowing HD-DVD playback on PCs would be great for consumers, Microsoft would essentially be releasing a commercial HD-DVD player that completely undercuts other $500 players that are available. Such a move would definately increase the overall value of the Xbox 360 HD-DVD add-on drive, but could dig into the sales of other players, all of which Toshiba has a hand in.

[via Tom’s Hardware]